Saturday, January 09, 2010

Getting Back on Track

Finally! With the holidays and our move complete, I feel like I can actually get back to some semblance of normalcy! Even though most of my day is consumed by waiting on hold for the NJ Dept. of Ed. staffers to answer the damn phone, I have been able to make a little bit of progress getting the new house into a liveable condition. Of course, in doing so I may very well have broken my vacuum cleaner and destroyed one of my Calphalon pans. The former stinks like burning rubber (I may have sucked up a few screws along with the million cobwebs, piles of dirt, and insect carcasses in the basement); the latter has black plastic cemented all over the bottom. Crap.

Having a working kitchen of my own again does mean that I can get back to my baking goup. Yesterday I mixed up the first batch of master dough from my fabulous new Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. (Thanks so much, Michelle and Zoe!) There are so many great breads that I just can not wait to try. I started with the basic loaf, brushed it with egg wash, and sprinkled it with a combination of pine nuts, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds. It came out beautifully. Soft and light on the inside and nice and crusty on the outside. I think doing it on the baking stone really does make a big difference (I use mine often, as you can see!). The bottom crust was just as crisp as the top. Since I can't post the recipe for you due to copyright (visit the HBin5 blog linked above for it!), I'm sharing the sandwich I made instead.

Yesterday I made a simple grilled cheese with brie and bartlett pears, which is pretty self explanatory! Today, I had an Italian Flag Chicken Sandwich. I'm sure you can figure out the name :)

Italian Flag Chicken Sandwiches

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 can diced no salt added tomatoes
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls. dried oregano
1 Tbls. dried basil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chicken broth, heated
2 Tbls. flour
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1 loaf of crusty bread

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Add to the hot pan and brown on each side. Add onions to pan and saute until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in diced tomato, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Cover chicken with spinach, cover and let simmer until spinach has wilted. Whisk flour into broth and then pour, stirring, into pan. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened. Arrange mozzarella slices over chicken breasts, cover and simmer until melted.
Serve over pasta or, for sandwiches, remove chicken breasts from sauce and lay on a cutting board. Slice each breast in half lengthwise. Slice bread in half lengthwise. Layer chicken over bottom half of bread, spoon any remaining spinach in the pan on top, then top with other half and slice into 3 inch slices. Serve with sauce for dipping.

Don't forget to swing by Michelle's blog for the monthly Bread Braid! You can check out all of the other group members' blogs and see what they've been cooking up.
Print the Recipe!


Danielle said...

Joanna your bread is beautiful!! and that sandwhich looks so very yummy!

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

Pleasure to meet you at UPrinting and thanks for your comment too!

Love this savory bread treat and the sandwich is absolutely scrumptious :)



How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Mmmm the bread looks so delicious! I'm pretty sure I have that book on my wishlist, but I'm going to go make sure now! Lol ;)

Mini Baker said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I'm so glad I did... you've got some REALLY yummy recipes that I can't wait to try! I'll be checking back often :)
-Mini Baker
ps. those sandwiches look killer!

Cristie said...

Your bread looks wonderful and paired with your delicious sandwich, how can you go wrong? It will be fun to bake with you this year! You're funny!

Kim said...

You really put your bread to good use! Everything looks delicious :D

Michelle said...

What a gorgeous sandwich! I'm pretty sure my husband would bow at your feet for one of those!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a delicious sandwich to make with the beautiful bread you made!

Ezzie said...

Great ideas for the sandwiches! Glad you're all moved in again and able to cook!

Megan said...

Bet it's great to be back in the kitchen! Love the Italian flad sandwich but I'm all over the pear and Brie. YUM!

Jen said...

that sandwich looks fantastic!